Funny and whimsical, Mona has become an essential character in Tomorrow Belongs to Us. Met during the La Rochelle Fiction Festival, Catherine Benguigui spoke to Allociné about the future of her character.
Funny and uninhibited, Mona has established herself over the seasons as a key character in Tomorrow Belongs to Us.
And if until now she has led a very quiet life in Sète, the return of Vanessa (Victoire Dauxerre) and her unexpected pregnancy promise to create some turmoil for Georges’ mother (Mayel Elhajaoui).
Met at the La Rochelle Fiction Festival last week, Catherine Benguigui, the interpreter of the whimsical Mona, spoke to Allociné about what awaits her character in the weeks to come.
Allociné: If we go back to the beginning of the Tomorrow Belongs to Us adventure, what appealed to you about joining a daily soap opera?
Catherine Benguigui : At first, I didn’t think that this character would be able to allow me to express my fantasy. The production was looking for Georges’ mother. I didn’t know Mayel or the series for that matter. When I started filming and saw what was being written to me, it totally appealed to me. It was fantastic !
Over the seasons, Mona has become an essential character in Tomorrow Belongs to Us. She is funny, whimsical, uninhibited and often delivers unforgettable punchlines of which only she has the secret. How does it feel to play such an iconic and popular character?
It’s a gift ! I was far from imagining all that. Two or three years ago, I didn’t work that much anymore. I even wanted to change careers. When I arrived on the show and was made to play the Helicon in a marching band, I wondered if the writers weren’t in my head. I have this fantasy in me. I have always made music. I wondered how I could have gotten such a gift! I go from surprise to surprise. I’m never disappointed.
Tomorrow belongs to us, it is also this meeting with the public. I was often rejected from castings because I was told that I was atypical and “too much”. And there, I am myself and it works. People are not afraid of this fantasy. On the contrary, they welcome it. I’m super happy.
Nanny, high school student and now head of Spoon, Mona has more than one string to her bow. Are you satisfied with the evolution of your character?
Yes ! It’s often unexpected. I want to go a little somewhere other than the Spoon and at the same time, it allows me to be in contact with all the other characters. I like cooking so it’s a bit of a dream come true. Despite everything, I would like Mona to focus more on other things, to get involved a little in her son’s investigations for example. In any case, I can’t wait to know what will happen to him.
It’s a bit of the shocking news of the week: Vanessa is pregnant with Georges.
Oh la la la la ! I learned this a bit by chance. In fact, I didn’t believe it. It was like Mona was saying in my head, “It’s not possible but it’s not possible!“.
How will Mona react?
She will be shocked. I was shocked myself. The fact that Georges sleeps again with Vanessa and that she gets pregnant when she really is a psychopath is totally unexpected and very sad at the same time. There is a very, very beautiful sequence that we shot with Hector Langevin, Solène Hébert and Mayel Elhajaoui. In this one, Bart is shocked and the fact that Georges is worried about Vanessa’s pregnancy doesn’t go over at all. For Mona neither and Victoire even less.
What do you think Grandma Mona would look like?
A tough one! Oh dear ! I think she’s going to incubate the baby. She will feel more. She’s really going to show off with the pram. I think she will be delighted. And then it can give rise to a lot of funny sequences. I loved playing Céleste’s babysitter. It’s true that at the start, I was afraid, especially since it was one of my first sequences. I trained with my cat because I was afraid of dropping the baby (laughs). But it went well.
On the heart side, could Mona meet someone soon?
She’s too independent I think. I don’t know if that would really add anything to this character. There was this big wind with Monsieur Brunet (Farouk Bermouga). I think it was quite shameful (laughs). She is more invested in a maternal side, protective than sentimental. Unless George’s father shows up one day, I don’t think Mona will meet anyone anytime soon.
At Allociné, we wondered if there couldn’t be a little story with Gilles (Laurent Gamelon), Marianne’s brother?
It could be funny. It would create sparks but Gilles is not his style. Sorry Laurent (laughs).
There is a relationship that we really like in Tomorrow Belongs to Us, it is that of Mona and Nathan (Adher). More than a friendship, it’s almost a maternal relationship. It was very unexpected and it’s undoubtedly one of the loveliest relationships in the series. Can we hope to see them share more scenes in the future? Will she invest a little more in her life?
I believe there are things that will happen but I can’t tell you exactly what. Especially since Adher has worked a lot on his game. He has reached a great level. I love touring with him. He’s a guy who really has a heart. It’s rare, because young actors can have a bit of a big head. He’s great!
Can we expect to see an arch centered around Mona in the coming months?
I would like to but that is not relevant at the moment.
We ultimately know little about Mona’s life. Will we end up learning more about his past and in particular about his relationship with Georges’ father?
We talk about it but it’s not current. And then you especially have to find the right actor because I’m going to be very difficult (laughs). I don’t even have any ideas. At first I was thinking of Enrico Macias but I think he’s a little old now (laughs).
What is your favorite Mona punchline?
There is one that I released myself and of which I am proud, it is “ The origin of the world is me! “. I still laugh about it (laughs).
Do you have any other projects besides Tomorrow Belongs to Us that you can talk about?
I have just shot a pilot with Jarry for a series set in funeral homes. I’m going to play Simone, a somewhat surly secretary. I’m going back to basics